How To Smash Ecommerce Sales On Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Are you ready for the anticipated peak trading at the end of November known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
If you haven't yet got your plan in place (and it's October already), stop whatever you are doing ... it's time to start preparing your strategy to win some star sales.
Preparation Is Essential, As Is Profit.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have gained traction and popularity in recent years, with consumers rushing to find and buy bargains before the festive period.
Make sure you are using this time wisely, by getting the right pricing strategy and marketing plan in place.
- Take the market temperature: Look at social media and absorb what your target audience is getting excited about. Usually consumers will hint at what they are looking forward to being on discount.
- Create compelling offers: No one wants your old stock / trash - they want genuine value they can rave about to their friends! Use your market temperature research to inform your promotions and offers. Can you give them what they really want? Can you do it and still make a profit?
- Create an Influencer Plan: If you are after sales and brand awareness, reach out consistently using social influencers around this time. Share affiliate codes and unique discount codes to encourage them to send shoppers your way.
- The newest trend is using nano-influencers; these are social media influencers with smaller followers, but who can still reach a few thousand people. This is a great way to reach new potential customers, gain trust and a positive reputation.
- Pre-approve Facebook Ads in advance so they are reviewed and processed by Facebook before the event. Then pause the ad and wait for the go-live moment! This way you are ready for the big day and don't end up waiting on Facebook, stuck in their Ad backlog pile.
- Lure shoppers in with fresh content: Fun and engaging content can make an impact and grab attention... and don't forget the power of competitions during this important peak. Equally, take inspiration from the big companies. They have dedicated marketing teams creating campaigns months in advance, which you can emulate and share with your own customers.
- Use strategic SEO keywords on your website. Popular keywords from last year include; Black Friday, Black Friday Deals and Cyber Monday deals. Check that your website has these in all the right places.
- Share a Gift guide and resources. Consider using a blog post or feature on your website in the weeks leading up which can double up as a gift guide for the holiday season.
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What Offers Could You Promote?
Rule #1: You must ensure that there is still profitability on those Black Friday offers.
Take a look at your profit margins and your product costs. Don’t put something in the sale, just to create a buzz... which would then end up losing you money.
Be savvy about your offers.
Rule #2. Get creative - Brands who are successful often switch up their offers over the trading peak.
For example, you could have 50% off on Black Friday, buy one get one free on Saturday, 10% off on Sunday and finishing with £10 off every £40 spent on Cyber Monday.
You could even have a different deal each hour on Black Friday! Just make sure you advertise it properly.
How To Use Sponsored Posts And Ads
Using sponsored posts and ads during peak time on platforms like Amazon and on social media is an excellent way, albeit expensive way of reaching potential customers and creating leads.
You will find that Ads are auctioned as a bidding war - just accept that Ads will be expensive during this peak time - so, armed with this knowledge, I recommend you are very selective in how and where you place your ads.
Choose a micro niche target audience you feel you can win in, and adjust bidding strategy and keywords carefully.
Make sure you mention Black Friday deals in your adverts and in your #hashtags and always use your best offer to promote.
By using the combination of a Black Friday sale and an increase in adverts on this weekend, you will attract new customers interested in your product.
Ensure the Right Scale of Logistics Are In Place To Deal With Volumes
The Black Friday event tends to span a whole weekend, ending with Cyber Monday. During these few days, both online stores and shops will have an increase in visitors. You need to ensure that logistics are in place to deal with volumes of customers.
- Bricks and mortar stores need to put in place queuing systems for busy periods and ensure that extra staff and security are in store to handle the crowds.
- Ecommerce websites need to make sure that their websites can handle the increased traffic. Test your website before the big weekend and see if there are any speed, load or caching weaknesses that you can work on beforehand.
- Think Mobile first shopping: On Black Friday weekend, people will be using their phones and tablets on the go, frantically shopping from multiple locations and ordering the best deals they can find. Make sure that your site is optimised for a mobile experience.
Prepare A Customer Complaints/ Service Strategy
Have a process in place to handle customer complaints, Black Friday refund processing and a service strategy for peak times. Treat every customer as a VIP and don’t forget to thank them for their custom.
Great service is what separates a good company from an amazing company. By treating your customers as special, being personal with them and thanking them, you are able to connect on a more human level.
- When dealing with complaints, ensure that they are dealt with promptly and politely.
- Decide in advance what your refund policy is on Black Friday sales and make this refund policy publicly available.
- If you haven’t got one in place, create a customer service plan and hold a training session beforehand to make sure all staff are up to date with it.
- Make sure all complaints and customer queries are dealt with the same way.
You Can Plan And Prepare, But Don’t Panic
You can plan and prepare as much as possible and put the above procedures and methods into place, however, things can still go wrong!
The best thing is to not panic or stress about the weekend. See it as an opportunity for your business to make some great sales, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Make It Happen In Your Business
Trading events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a time to embrace what you love to do and perform at your best.
Motivate your teams, proudly promote how you serve your customers and give it your very best shot.
You simply cannot avoid every thing that could go wrong. You cannot predict the future. But if you plan and prepare as much as possible, you should be feeling confident and ready to embrace the Black Friday and Cyber Monday crowds.
- Preparation and organisation is key. If you have notes from last year - look at what went well, what you could do better this time and consider carefully how you can up your game.
- If it is your first peak trading period, make sure you start making notes of everything you do to prepare so you can replicate it next time. You won't remember one year on what you did today. Write it down!
- Briefing all staff so they are aware of what's coming, likely challenges and how you want customers to be dealt with is essential.
- Carefully craft your most exciting offers and proudly promote them throughout.
- Don't be reckless with profitability, instead seek simply to deliver fantastic value for your customers at a price you can live with.
- Remember it's not just about the day itself. Many ecommerce businesses are using the whole week as a run up. Last year Amazon started it's Black Friday deals early on a range of core categories to capture the early bird shoppers - learn from the best, you can take advantage of this too.
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